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Harry Smith Cajun music.


Published July 15, 1988


A compilation of sounds by Harry Smith with chanting, street sounds, singing, poetry, blues, and rock. Includes the Fugs playing, "The Summer of Love," "The Modest Rose," and "Ciao Man." This tape is likely to include sounds made from a microphone hung out of Allen Ginsberg's New York Lower East Side apartment.


Date 1988-07-15 00:00:00
Run time 1:33:04
Label / Recorded by Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics


Reviews

Reviewer: Stackalee - - December 16, 2007
Subject: Sources
The reading at 09:36 is of Aleister Crowley's poem "Hymn to Pan" (1929).
Reviewer: Lilypad - - September 5, 2005
Subject: Okay, I don't get it
Not my cup of tea, however, hearing this recording reminds me that I should be out looking for sounds in my own community. The final passage (the "Ginsberg" part) is the most captivating, but then that's not really saying much given the rest of it. Hang your head out of any window on a residential street on the upper west side and you can hear a live version of the "Ginsberg" section for yourself.

This is not to indicate that I have any problem with Harry Smith. He did way more than I've done with my pathetic little life!

Maybe there is no significant connection between the parts of this recording, other than the fact that they all captured Smith's attention and he happened to put them all on a single reel. Of course we are all connected by the laws of nature and the universal "oneness" (and consider THAT before you flame my review!)
Reviewer: archivegrl - - January 4, 2005
Subject: Listen and weep
This is the most interesting audio in the entire collection, far as I'm concerned, and totally unique.

Harry Smith (legendary audio recordist, music collector, groundbreaking animator, artist, linguist, ethnographer, Theosophist, investigator of human consciousness...can't do his bio justice here, google him yrself, rent the films, buy the Anthology) was brought to Naropa by Allen Ginsberg and Steven Taylor, and attended to by Rani Singh, when Smith was ill and homeless. He was given the title Shaman in Residence. Several of his lectures are available in this online collection. According to Taylor, Ginsberg said Smith's work would pierce public consciousness 10 years after Smith's death (1991), which means: now.

This recording is dated 1988, but it's not certain if the recording was made in one day or over time, and we have no idea if it was edited in the recorder or post-produced. We don't know much about who's on it.

We do know this tape is referred to by Ginsberg in several of his lectures as the recording Smith made by hanging a microphone out of Ginsberg's East Village apartment.

I have the feeling if we could only hear the connection between these cuts that Smith heard, all of the larger philosophical questions of our time would suddenly become clear. If the Smithians out there have any info or theories, please respond in the forum.

Rundown:
Recording begins with intro to Cajun song "K2 Sans Oxygen, a song of redemption"
4:35 high pitched singing in unknown language. Kids?
9:36 Chanting and reading. Poetry or rite?
18:12 Female singing Celtic song
21:17 Orchestra with Choir
24:07 Toothless man (on street?) tells his story
27:37 Unknown blues band performs rocking version of Wang Dang Doodle
32:59 Resounding percussive performance. Taiko-like but not quite
37:24 Female singing montage that includes This Little Light of Mine, Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, Goodby My Coney-Island Baby
45:56 The Fugs perform a set including The Summer of Love, The Modest Rose, Tuli Kupferberg's CIA Man and more
65:50 Church Bells, street sounds (the Ginsberg portion of the recording)
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